Chapter 5 Physical Activity Opportunities During the School Day: Classroom Teachers’ Perceptions of Using Activity Breaks in the Classroom

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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The purpose of this study was to explore classroom teachers’ perceptions of incorporating physical activity breaks into their classroom and to determine specific features of preferred activity breaks. These perceptions are considered within the conceptual framework of Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP). Twelve elementary and high school classroom teachers from one Indigenous school district participated in the study. The data were collected using semistructured interviews and teachers’ reflective journals and were analyzed inductively by conducting systematic searches for patterns across data types. Emergent themes included: the need for and threats to classroom control; a preference for breaks with connections to academic content; and the importance of implementation ease and student enjoyment. The findings indicated that teachers prefer activity breaks that are easy to manage, quick, academically oriented and enjoyable for students. These findings have practical implications when considering physical education teacher education and professional development that targets classroom teachers.

McMullen is with PESS, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. Kulinna is with the Dept. of Physical Education, Arizona State University, Mesa, Arizona. Cothran is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Address author correspondence to Jaimie McMullen at
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